Business Topics

Aussie beef industry hails EPA with Japan

Apr 8, 2014

Aussie beef industry hails EPA with Japan

The Australian beef industry welcomed Tuesday a broad accord between Japan and Australia to conclude a bilateral economic partnership agreement (EPA) for free trade. “Over the next 20 years, sales of Australian beef to Japan are expected to rise by 5.5 billion (Australian) dollars ...

Apr 8, 2014

BOJ stays policy course, aware of sales tax hike hit

by Atsushi Kodera

The Bank of Japan on Tuesday left its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged, while acknowledging the consumption tax hike introduced this month will have a negative impact on the economy. During a two-day meeting that ended Tuesday, the nine-member Policy Board unanimously decided to maintain ...

Apr 5, 2014

U.S. finally regains the jobs lost to Great Recession

The U.S. economy has reached a milestone: It has finally regained all the private-sector jobs it lost during the Great Recession. Yet it took a painfully slow six years, and unemployment remains stubbornly high at 6.7 percent. The comeback figures were contained in a ...

Abe may reduce tax benefits for women

Apr 4, 2014

Abe may reduce tax benefits for women

by Chikako Mogi and Kyoko Shimodoi

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reflation campaign last year helped draw the most women to work since 1991. He now plans to add a stick to that carrot, scaling back tax benefits for spouses with limited earnings. The administration is reviewing rules that let about ...

Apr 3, 2014

Cash-rich firms spurn banks' offers

by Keiko Ujikane

Banks are the most keen to lend companies money in 17 years. Corporate treasurers don’t need the cash. The Bank of Japan’s “tankan” business confidence index released Tuesday showed that the prevalence of midsize companies saying banks are willing to lend to them rose ...

Farmers bet on steaks twice the price of silver

Apr 3, 2014

Farmers bet on steaks twice the price of silver

by Aya Takada

Hirotaka Sekiguchi dresses his “wagyu” calves in T-shirts and jackets to protect them against the spring chill and an expected avalanche of cheap foreign beef. The 59-year-old Sekiguchi pampers the 320 cattle on his feedlot in the town of Kamisato, Saitama Prefecture, with customized ...

Tax hike to spur retailing industry shakeout

Apr 3, 2014

Tax hike to spur retailing industry shakeout

The 3-point rise in the sales tax may turn shoppers frugal, leading to price wars among retailers and accelerating realignment in the industry. Industry watchers say that small retailers with poor product development capabilities are likely to face difficulties surviving the fierce competition on ...

Japan wins order from Brunei to mint silver coins

Apr 2, 2014

Japan wins order from Brunei to mint silver coins

The Japan Mint has received an order from Brunei to mint 5,500 silver coins commemorating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Brunei, it was announced Wednesday. Of the total, 5,000 coins will be sold in Japan. The price ...

Apr 2, 2014

Companies see prices rising by 1.5%: BOJ

Companies are expecting consumer prices to rise at an average rate of 1.5 percent year-on-year, a Bank of Japan survey showed Wednesday, falling short of the central bank’s inflation target of 2 percent. The companies also said they expect prices to rise 1.7 percent ...

Sentiment up but outlook turns sour

Apr 1, 2014

Sentiment up but outlook turns sour

Business confidence among large manufacturers rose in March from three months earlier for the fifth straight quarterly improvement, the Bank of Japan said Tuesday in its “tankan” report, but many companies were wary about prospects amid fear of weakening demand after the consumption tax ...

Apr 1, 2014

Builders aim to double skilled female workers

The Japan Federation of Construction Contractors wants to double the number of skilled female construction workers to some 180,000 within the next five years to help ease the industry’s labor shortage. Construction demand is expected to continue growing on the back of the Tokyo ...